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Advance registration begins in Jammu for annual Amarnath Yatra

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STATE TIMES NEWS

Jammu: The registration for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage began on Monday with a large number of people turning up at designated bank branches here to secure a permit.
The 52-day pilgrimage to the 3,880-meter-high cave shrine in south Kashmir is scheduled to start on June 29 and conclude on August 19, according to the announcement made by the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).
The journey can be undertaken through two routes — the traditional 48-km route through Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and the 14-km shorter but steep Baltal route in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.
“The advance registration has started today at bank branches here. The exercise is being conducted at 540 branches of PNB (Punjab National Bank) across the country,” an official involved in the registration process said.
It is Aadhaar authentication-based form generation for yatris rather than the manual procedure followed in 2022, the officials said, adding that forms will be system-generated now.
The designated PNB branch in Rehari opened this morning bedecked with flowers and bunting to welcome prospective Amarnath pilgrims, who were standing in queues since early morning for registration.
“We want to be part of the first batch of pilgrims undertaking the yatra to the cave shrine. We have been registered. It is a moment of happiness for us,” said Suman Devi of Janipur.
The schedule of the pilgrimage was decided at the meeting of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday.
The yatra would commence simultaneously from both the routes, the officials said.
The shrine board will also enable the live telecast of morning and evening “aarti” (prayers) for devotees across the globe.
A total of 542 bank branches across the country has been designated for the registration of pilgrims by the board, which is offering the facility also on its website.
According to the board, which manages the annual pilgrimage, no one below the age of 13 or above 75 years, and no woman with more than six weeks’ pregnancy shall be registered for the yatra.

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